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The Halkidiki Olive

The Halkidiki is delicious, besides being fun to say: (Hal-KEE-dah-kee). This olive originated in a region of Macedonia, Greece and be cured a few different ways. Also, a certain size range qualifies them for the new title - Atlas Olive.

Halkidiki Map

Growing Areas:

  • Typically grown in the region of central Macedonia in Greece, where it got its name. The Halkidiki can also be found in Kavala, Imathia & Magnesia prefectures to name a few.

Tree Specifications:

  • With an intermediate growth cycle, typically Halkidiki Trees begin to fruit in their fourth year. The tree has a low yield productivity and total crop size, because the variety alternates from year to year.

Harvest:

  • Halkidikis are harvested beginning in the middle September and are finished no later than the end of October.

Curing:

  • This olive can be cured in a few ways. First and most common is treating them with caustic soda (lye) for a period of 12-15 hours, where they are then put into a three-phase wash. The washing begins with fresh water, while removing caustic soda. The tank is drained, and refilled with fresh water for another 8 hours. This process is repeated until all traces of lye are gone. Once approved, olives are place in tanks of sea-salt brine for fermentation.
  • A less common method would be for the olives to be cured in just a brine solution with both citric and ascorbic acid. The fermentation time usually takes around 3 months. This method gives the olive a distinctly different flavor.

Fruit Specifications:

  • The Halkidiki is an elongated, slightly asymmetric olive with a pointed apex and a nipple present.
  • The olive can vary in color from yellow, which is undesirable, to straw and light, golden green.
  • Sizes can vary greatly with the largest fruit at 70/kg. and as small as 320/kg. The preferred size never exceeds 110/kg. Sizing between 70-90/kg. is often referred to as an Atlas Olive.
  • As for flavor, the Halkidiki is briny with a pleasant sour taste. In the case of curing with citric and ascorbic acid, the olive takes a much more acidic flavor; too often this just overwhelms the flavor of the flesh. Both fermentation methods produce a firm olives with a yielding bite.

Pairings & Recipe Ideas:

  • Cheese pairing: Manchego, feta
  • Red Roasted Tomatoes
  • Almonds
  • Greek Green Olive Tapenade
  • Roasted Garlic & Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Olives

Did You Know...

  • Halkidikis are the most common Greek olive to stuff!
  • The region of Halkidiki is the birthplace of the famous philosopher Aristotle.

Halkidiki Olive